I didn’t like this book as much a I wanted to.
Modern Romance tries to be both a humor book and a serious sociological investigation, and instead, it doesn’t fully become either. The jokes felt flat and forced into paragraphs that were otherwise legitimate sociological research. So in some ways you have a massive research study that is dumbed-down with lighthearted jokes, or you have a humor book filled with data, statistics and graphs. Neither is as successful as it could have been.
The most interesting part of the book to me was Ansari’s investigation into the dating cultures of other countries, especially Japan. The focus groups he conducted in Japan shed light on some fascinating reasons behind the country’s population decline, which seems to be growing into a national crisis. I wish he had devoted equal time to describing his investigations into the dating cultures of Buenos Aires, Doha and Paris.
Overall, you can get the gist of this book from watching Ansari’s stand-up routine at Madison Square Garden, which is on Netflix. While Ansari’s book is a fun and lighthearted read, I don’t think it will teach the reader anything they didn’t know and modern romance already.